Ugly Produce. Delivered.

Quick Pickled Broccoli Stems

Photo and recipe by Michelle Aronson of  Farm Belly.

Photo and recipe by Michelle Aronson of Farm Belly.

While broccoli florets tend to get all the attention, have you ever wondered why we rarely use almost half of the broccoli head? Not only are broccoli stems nutrition-packed, they’re also delicious when prepared properly. It’s about time we show broccoli stems some love. Broccoli stems taste similar to kohlrabi (they are both in the Brassica family) and can be enjoyed raw, cooked, or in this case, pickled! This fun and easy pickle recipe comes to us from our friend Michelle of Farmbelly.

Ingredients

Broccoli Stems and Seasoning

  • 3 broccoli stems* (from one bunch)

  • 1 garlic clove*, peeled and smashed

  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns

*Ingredient available to add to your Imperfect box

Basic Brine

  • 1 c white vinegar

  • 1 c water

  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt

  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Instructions

  1. Peel the broccoli stems and cut, either crosswise into rounds, or lengthwise into stalks. Pack the stems tightly in a mason jar, along with the garlic clove and the black peppercorns, making sure to leave 1/2-inch of headspace.

  2. In a small non-reactive saucepan, heat the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar, stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and let the brine cool for about 5 minutes.

  3. Fill each jar to within 1/2-inch of the top of the jar with the brine. Note: this recipe makes enough brine for 1 quart (or two pint-sized jars) of pickles.

  4. Let the jars cool to room temperature. Store the pickles in the fridge. They will taste good after 24 hours, but are best after at least 2 days. They will keep up to one month.

Recipe Notes and Variations

Any time you have extra veggies and herbs on hand we recommend that you make quick pickles like these. They’re packed with flavor, and they extend the life of your veggies for up to a month.  A basic pickling brine consist of four basic ingredients: vinegar  for acidity, water to cut the the acid, sugar to balance the acid, and salt for flavor. You can mix and match different vegetables (and fruits) to be pickled, and you can (and should!) pickle parts of vegetables that usually get thrown away, like the stems. Get creative with aromatics as well – everything from lemon peels to toasted spices, garlic, ginger, and herbs will add heaps of flavor to your colorful jars of quick pickles.